High End Intergraded comparisons, Marantz, McIntosh, Levinson, Luxman....

Ive been trying to listen to higher end integrated amps but its not easy. 

Im looking for owners comparisons. 


I had a Marantz PM-KI Ruby that replaced lots of low powered SET gear with high efficient speakers im no longer using. 

I settled on a nice old pair of KEF Reference Model Fours from about 1999-2000. They are very hungry speakers. Very revealing. 

The Marantz Ruby was rather nice in all ways. 

Im trying a marantz PM-10s1 and although i was expecting a Bigger Better Ruby it turned out to be much more than that. I also got it for about 35% off list so it dramatically lowered the price point compared to competitive brands and products. 

I dont really want any DAC in the box. I actually wanted a good phono stage. Id buy a unit with a DAC but I wont be using it and I Do need a phono stage for a Rega with a AT OC9 MC cart. Limits choices based on additional costs. 

The PM-10 has a Much larger soundstage. Larger and tighter focused images. Wide, Tall and Deep. Much more detail and inner detail. Crystal clear presentation. Very tight and deep bass. Punch and slam. Very life-like presentation of instruments and vocals. Not necessarily bright but extended. Im rather happy but also very surprised. 

I feel maybe I should be exploring some other Integrated amps before settling in on this PM-10. Not easy. They cost allot to ship, return. 

The McIntosh MA7900 is an option but its more money than I spent and im not sure how it compares to the Marantz PM-10. Many say they are very similar in sound character. 

The Mark Levinson 5805 is also a bit more money and is said to be more so detailed and brighter. Is that true? Ive read the PM-10 is smoother and richer. I dont want any more detail or brightness. 

The Hegel 390 and MF MX8 lack phono which drives up the cost for me. Im not sure of their character in comparison to a McIntosh or Marantz. 

The Luxman seems to be one to try, the 507uxii but it has much lower power and some say its rather bright with a bass boom. 


Appreciate peoples comments based on what you've heard. 



Have a Marantz PM11S3 built in phono stage, dual mono amp, integrated.  Sound stage as you describe above.  Been playing this amp for ten years.  Very happy with all aspects of it.  I vote Marantz. 

Apologies; for not a direct answer to the models listed. I've had the McIntosh MA352; 200Ws driving Dynaudio 4ohm Contour 20s and two subwoofers (dual sub ports) for about a year now.  

Can't say enough good things about the sound stage, detail at low volume; it just gets better with age. Upgraded from a Marantz PM8005; not a fair comparison to the Ruby.  Really enjoyed the Marantz, but the Mac was a massive upgrade.

Thanks. Yeah Marantz put allot of attention to the phono stage, on the PM-10 its outstanding, MC-H works beautifully with an AT OC9xls.

Im trying different DACs too. A Denafrips, Holo Audio, Wyred 4 Sound. They all sound so damn different! The PM-10 is insanely revealing and true to the sound of your source. The Holo Audio is full, rich and organic but doesn’t have the detail and nuance of the W4S DAC. The W4S is what I know best and its rather lean and a detail whore. Not that there’s anything wrong with that :-)

I have a CD source with a dCS ring dac which sounds complete different still. The Marantz is crazy revealing.